Why don't men talk to me?

Men and women, give me your best appraisal of this situation:

I am not trying to boast but I have always been considered very beautiful. I'm tall with long, thick red hair and a very womanly figure. People usually love to engage in conversation with me and find me to be really fun and funny. I used to get asked on dates constantly and have a lot of options. Then something changed.

This past spring (of 2009) I was sexually assaulted. It was exceptionally traumatic and I wound up in a hospital over night with a police report and everything. Since then I really tried to "low key" my life. I stopped going out as much or regarding myself as pretty. I really began to see myself as worthless and disgusting. My self esteem has plummeted and I find going outside and talking to men to be a huge, anxiety-ridden chore. I do, however, still feel like I want a man. Except I haven't been able to really attract one since this happened.

I suppose what I'm trying to ask is: is my self-esteem (my low self-esteem) evident? Can people see it? I feel like that's possible. I look exactly the same as I did last year. The only thing that has changed is my own personal view of myself.



Most Helpful Guy

  • It's possible people are noticing your lower self-image. It's also possible that it just seems that way to you because you've been through a traumatic experience which changed (at least temporarily) your emotional reactions.

    Either way, the best advice is to talk to sexual assault survivors and/or a professional therapist. The feelings you're describing are normal after an abusive experience, but there are ways to deal with them. Here's a few places to look if you aren't sure where to start:

    RAINN (Anti-sexual assault nonprofit organization):


    Dept. of Health and Human Services sexual abuse FAQ and hotlines:



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What Guys Said 3

  • The first thought that comes to my mind is, Don't they usually offer counseling after a traumatic experience like that? Because I would have thought the first thing they'd have tried to make sure you understand is that regardless of how you might feel about yourself you have no reason to feel that way. Most if not all of the attacks women suffer have nothing to do with their looks when it can happen to anyone from a 8 year old girl to a 90 year old grandmother.

    Anyway the reason I mention that is, even if you're still dressing the same and such your self esteem and confidence is always evident. Not just in dating and relationships so you could still be giving off a feeling of self defeat even if you're not saying anything particularly wrong because HOW you say it still makes an impression. Also low self esteem can cause you to pass up opportunities which can lead to what you want. Your experience shouldnt make you value yourself any less, you might come away with a new perspective on how you live your life or what's important to you but, it shouldn't lower your view of yourself.

    • That was a really thought provoking answer. Hmm... when you talked about what how I say (versus the content of my speech) shows self defeat I think you're totally right. It might be subtle but it's there. It makes me feel so pathetic sometimes that I don't speak at all... which is, again, self defeating. (Btw- counseling was offered to me but it seemed like a better idea at the time to pretend it didn't happen. I think a lot of survivors feel that way at first)

  • I think you're still suffering from the attack. There is no reason for you to have such low esteem. The attack was not your fault. You're a victim of a terrible crime. If you haven't sought help from a rape crisis clinic, please do so. There are many such places that offer free services to victims. Guys probably sense your problem and so don't want to deal with you. Until you once again find mental health and regain your self esteem you may continue to have trouble building a relationship with a guy. As I said, there is no reason for you to have a low view of yourself. You're a victim that needs help.

    • You're right. Self-care is really important. I think what I'm trying to do is ignore that it happened when that's really proving to be impossible. I might not want to think about it but it occured and, as such, is having it's impact on my life right now. I want to rush the healing process so badly but that's not working. Reading what you said gave me a heavy feeling (because it rang true). I really do appreciate it.

    • Show All
    • Wow... it's incredible what keeping things inside can do. Thank you for sharing. It was really evocative to read that.

    • You can actually become a pressure cooker and the trauma will force itself to the surface and drive you almost into insanity. Please get some help.

  • Guys can tell that you have low self esteem by what you say and your body langauge.


What Girls Said 2

  • I'm really sorry to hear that. But when you change your opinion you have off a different aura sort of, you subtly act different , maybe others are picking up on that.

    • I feel that. It makes a lot of sense.

    • Yes, she needs to seek help to resolve the trauma inflicted upon her in the attack. Until then people will continue to pick up on that aura.

  • People can definitely tell that you're not confident anymore. Obviously, it's not your fault! Have you tried going to therapy? If you change from the inside, it'll show on the outside. If you haven't gone to therapy yet, start going! You deserve to feel good about yourself again.